The Sutra of the Lotus Flower of the wonderful Dharma, popularly known as ‘the Lotus Sutra’, is revered by millions of Buddhists as containing the core and culmination of the Buddha’s teaching. Together with the two shorter sutras that traditionally accompany it, Innumerable Meanings and Meditation on the Bodhisattva Universal Wisdom, it comprises one of the most important scriptures of Mahayana Buddhism and indeed, one of the major documents of world religion.

The Lotus Sutra consists of a series of lectures by Shakyamuni Buddha given toward the end of his forty years of teaching. At the heart of the sutra are three major concepts of Mahayana Buddhism: (1) all sentient beings can attain Perfect Enlightenment – that is, buddhahood; (2) the Buddha energy is eternal, having existed from the infinite past and appearing in many forms throughout the ages to guide and support people through the teaching of the Dharma; and (3) the noblest form of Buddhist practice is the way of the bodhisattvas … those who devote themselves to attaining enlightenment not only for themselves but for all sentient beings.

The lotus flower is special to us because it is rooted in muddy water yet grows and opens to be a pure and beautiful flower. This is true of humankind as well. We have the capability to acknowledge our existence in this chaotic world and by study and practice of the path; we can grow and blossom into compassionate human beings with perfect freedom of mind.